Building a brand that connects with your ideal clients is a huge task. But building a brand that people trust is something else again.
Trust is so important because, as we know, people are more likely to buy from those they know, like and trust.
But how do you get people to like and trust you before they decide to book with you?
It takes time to cultivate trust.
Trust is developed through the connection with your brand, your message, and you. Your brand will attract your ideal client initially, but trust in you and the service you provide is what keeps them coming back, and referring you to their friends!
So, the question is:
How do we build a brand people will trust?
I get asked this question all the time, so I came up with 5 steps to building a brand that people trust long before they ever work with you.
Step 1: Get your client invested before you ever take a single image.
This is the easiest way to get new clients invested in the process to convert them into actual paying clients. Here’s what I do:
- I hold planning sessions in person for my pet clients and either in-person or on the phone sessions for newborn clients.
- I ask about their goals for the session, whether they have any questions/hesitations, and I give a full explanation of how I work.
- I also ask about their home and where they plan on displaying images. I offer this as a free appointment because I want to make sure I am the best photographer for them.
Step 2: Understand the fears your potential clients have about hiring a professional photographer.
There will always be some objections and hesitation when working with a professional photographer. The key is uncovering those objections quickly, dealing with them appropriately and moving on.
If you feel some hesitation, just ask. I always ask if my clients have worked with a professional photographer and whether they have any hesitations about working with me. If there are any previous issues, I make sure to make a point of going above and beyond to make their experience the best I can possibly make it.
Step 3: Set the expectations up front
I always set expectations for my clients, and then make sure I exceed them!
Discuss what is expected of both of you before you begin the session so you can set about satisfying (and then exceeding) those expectations.
If you don’t have this discussion up front, it will be impossible (for you and your client) to fulfill the expectations that neither of you are aware of.
Step 4: Go the extra mile by providing amazing customer service
Like all service-based providers, photographers are heavily judged on the level of customer service offered.
We can set ourselves, and our businesses apart, simply by going above and beyond what is expected of us. So for example, in a digital age no one calls anyone anymore. If you take the time to pick up the phone and reach out to a potential client inquiring about a booking, you will go to the top of the list for them.
Remember, price shopping is where most people start, so surprise and delight potential clients by giving outstanding personal attention. Do this and they wont be focusing on your prices so much because you’re giving added value through great customer service.
Step 5: Be transparent
Be open and transparent in how you approach working with a new client to overcome objections and hesitations.
It’s best to lay things out and set expectations before you start your business relationship.
It’s easy to fulfill an expectation that has been made clear, but it’s impossible to fulfill one you aren’t aware of. I like to lay everything out so nothing is a surprise – including the price. The last thing you want is for someone who loves your work to realize at the last minute that it’s out of their budget.
Try implementing these steps into your process when you start working with current, new and potential clients.
The customer service alone will get people talking about you to their friends, which is what you want!
Remember, build a brand and they will come. Build trust and they will buy.
Creating a brand that’s memorable and profitable is no easy feat. That’s why I’ve put together a workbook that breaks it all down for you and helps you build a brilliant (& profitable) brand. Grab you free workbook HERE!